Upload & Sell: On
FWIW, I've had a long love affair with macro & closeup. I have 7 macro, micro lenses, from the Nikon 60 to the Nikon 70-180 micro, 2 Sigmas and a Tamron. Additionally, I often use the Sigma 100-300 f/4, naked, for flower closeups or with extension tubes for more mag. I have a Manfrotto tripod that is a "transformer" type, that will allow the camera to be positioned horizontally about 2 ft or so from the head and maybe 6" off of the ground, with an Acratech GV2 ballhead that can also function like a Gimbal. With my longer macro lenses, I have often used a Wimberly Sidekick, Gimbal style head. I also have a cheap macro focusing rail. Do yourself a favor and don't buy a cheap focusing rail.
IME, 2 or 3 off camera flash controlled by another flash, with a big bounce card, in the hotshoe can work really well.
If you find that you get into shooting flowers in the field, I highly recommend the Nikon 70-180 micro. A zoom is just so much nicer, easier to use when you're avoiding trampling someone's prize flowers. Same applies to a "transformer" style tripod like the Manfrotto found . here. I know that you don't want to buy a new tripod now. I just wanted to show you an alternative for macros. Manfrotto also makes a horizontal "Side Arm" that attaches to your tripod, found here. Something that I love for shooting flowers on windy days is the McClamp, found here.
My first "real" macro lens was the Tamron 90. As others mentioned, it's cheap and very sharp. Mine has a color cast distinctively different from any other of my lenses. But, it's 8 years old, so that may not apply today. My current favorite lenses are the 70-180 micro, Sigma 150 and Nikon 60. The Nikon 70-180 is the only true zoom macro available and it was discontinued in 2003, IIRC. It can be found used, but a good copy isn't cheap. The 70-200vr or 70-200 f/4 with
extension tubes might be acceptable alternatives. Dunno. I don't much like using tubes. I found them to be too limiting for my tastes.
I usually advise folks wanting to get into macro on the cheap, to get the Tamron 90 as a starter lens. If you think macro/closeups will be a serious part of your photography, then I'd advise getting the Sigma 150, maybe the 180. I have an 8 year old 180 and it's kind of a beast compared to the 150. The 150 is my favorite of the 2, being lighter, shorter, better balanced for me. If you get the 150 and decide that macro isn't for you, it should be a very easy sell on the used market.